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Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Five

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Five

“Where did you get that cloak?” Neron demanded only a moment after Henry stepped into the shop. He didn’t seem to care about the laden basket in Henry’s hands.

“A gift from a friend.”

Neron reached out a wrinkled hand and and fondled the fabric. “No friend would gift you with something like this.” He sneered. “You stole it, didn’t you?”

“No, I don’t steal,” Henry snapped. “It was given to me by a friend, as I said.”

Neron raised a fist, and Henry feared he was about to be struck again, but then he stopped and held out his hand. “Give it to me.”

Henry wrapped his arms around himself, holding tight to the garment. “No, Kai gave it—“ He stopped when he realized he’d uttered Kai’s name.

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Four

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Four

When Henry opened his eyes, the sun was high in the sky. The day had warmed, though it still had a chill to it coming from the sea to the north. Kai still lay behind him, his arm around Henry’s stomach, and his fingers slipped into Henry’s tunic, where they rested on the skin there. Henry feared he would go up in flames at Kai’s touch.

“Kai?”

“Yes?”

“Your hand….”

“Shall I take my hand away?” Kai whispered in his ear as he stroked his fingers over Henry’s stomach.

Henry drew in a deep breath. Every fiber within him screamed to say yes, to preserve his mortal soul, but what good is a soul if he had to forego being happy?

“No.”

“Good. I had no desire to move it either.” He kissed Henry’s neck. “Are you feeling better?”

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Three

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Three

Kai’s hands shook as he peered down the road in the direction of Innernook. He couldn’t believe how nervous he was waiting to see if Henry would show up. He fretted when Henry had disappeared from sight the night before. He was uncertain why he had such protective instincts where Henry was concerned, but from what little they’d talked, it seemed clear that Henry was unhappy.

Not that Kai could blame him, of course. To be told he would suffer eternal torment, simply being who he was? That was sheer insanity. No one in Kai’s life believed in higher powers. He had no problems with others if they did, but it simply never occurred to him that people would allow an unseen force to dictate their lives.

Kai’s people believed in helping each other to reach their fullest potential. Each of them had a duty they would grow into, and the whole lot of them had learned that working together benefitted everyone, and that they made far greater progress than doing individual things. Not that they didn’t have their own passions they pursued. Kai loved his job of collecting rare artifacts, but he also enjoyed sitting with the children and explaining to them what made each piece special.

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Two

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Two

When Kai saw Henry kneeling beside the Virbolg, his first thought was he’d given Henry too much credit. As he riffled through his bag, it seemed as though Henry was going to kill the Virbolg, just as the others from his town had done. He was about to step in, when Henry did the most amazing thing. He helped a creature that, to him, probably seemed like a monster. And he did it without any prompting.

Who did that? What kind of person went against their very nature, and helped another that was in trouble? Well, Henry, obviously. And while he was afraid, he didn’t let that innate terror stop him. Kai could understand. The Virbolg were rather frightening, but they were, for the most part, gentle creatures who only attacked to defend themselves. Henry had no way of knowing that, and still he helped.

Because Henry had surprised him, Kai took him deeper into the woods, and to a spot where the ghost moss was easily located. He helped Henry to fill the basket he’d brought, and it was obvious Henry appreciated the assistance.

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter One

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter One

“Henry! Come here this instant!”

Master Neron’s tone indicated that he was not a happy man. Henry Cabot put down the wheedle brush he was stripping from the thorny bark, much to the regret of his bruised and bloodied hands, and rushed to the front of the shop to see what Master Neron would berate him for this time.

“Yes, Master?”

Neron tossed a bundle of fire lilies on the counter. “The lady Jasper claims that these did not work in her stew.”

Henry wanted to say that it was because fire lilies were toxic and ought not be used in stew, but he kept his mouth shut, knowing anything he said would only compound his punishment.

“She is quite vexed.”

She would have been even more so if she’d eaten the lilies and developed the cramps that would make her wish she died. Henry truly did like his job. He had learned much from Master Neron. Unfortunately, he also learned that Master Neron ought not be teaching. He was an ill tempered man, with little actual knowledge of the healing arts. Henry could brew potions and salves that would drain illness from the body, but Master Neron said that what he was making was akin to poison, and destroyed the things he’d made.

Mostly.